RAP! RAP! RAP! This meeting will come to order. My name is Rich Pellegrino. I am the chair of Cobb Citizens for Government Transparency and will be leading the effort to — as they say in the sports world — strike out this deal. Yes, the little guy in the back with the bowtie. You have a question?
Yessir, my name is Figby. I thought you were chair of the Cobb Immigration Alliance.
Well, I was. I mean I am, but ...
Weren’t you the guy who was involved with getting a couple of illegal immigrants to fast in protest of a bill in the Georgia Legislature to make illegal immigration, well, illegal?
Yes, that was a couple of years ago, but ...
Can I ask how that came out?
Uh, not well. They were on a honey-and-lemon diet. Turns out the bees thought we were a bunch of doofusses and refused to cooperate and we ran out of lemon trees. That was — as they say in the sports world — an error on my part. The next time we do this, I am going to put them on a sorghum syrup and pecan diet.
And did you also encourage students to walk out of class in the middle of the day at Pebblebrook High School in protest of the bill?
You betcha. That was one of my better ploys. You see, I ...
So, rather than have them in the classroom, you decided to encourage them to skip class? You call that responsible?
Well, gee. I don’t think it was that big a big deal. They were probably just learning English or some dumb thing like that. Besides. ...
And if memory serves me correctly, aren’t you also the chair of Cobb United for Change?
Seems like a couple of years ago, you were involved in one of those Occupy Whatever movements near Kell High School.
How did that work out?
Not as good as I hoped. There were only two of us. Me and one of the guys that fasted during the illegal immigration bill debate. He only came because I told him they were serving crullers. Look, why are you asking all these questions? You’ve got the other people in the room looking down at their shoes and muttering.
Well, I am wondering why those who oppose the stadium deal want you leading the charge? I’m trying to think of a protest in which you have been involved that has been successful.
Oh, yeah? Well, I got you this time, buddy. I am going to be joined in the stadium protest by none other than Debbie Dooley, who heads the Atlanta Tea Party. This may surprise you, but the Tea Party and whatever alliance I head today are closer than ticks on a yard dog. As we say in the illegal immigration business, we are hombres. Any more questions, smart guy?
Just a couple. Ms. Dooley resides in Gwinnett County, doesn’t she?
So what? A lot of my protestors come from other places, like Berkley, California, for example. Having somebody coming from Gwinnett saves on bus fare.
Didn’t Gwinnett County build a baseball stadium a few years back for the Braves’ Triple-A farm club?
If memory serves, that stadium was built with taxpayer funds, too. The county paid $5 million for the 44 acres of land that the stadium occupies and incurred about $77.5 million of debt for the stadium’s construction.
So, where was Debbie Dooley then? I don’t remember seeing or hearing from her when that was going on in her own backyard. And did she threaten to have the commissioners in Gwinnett County defeated in the next election? After all, isn’t that where she votes?
Boy, you ask dumb questions. And I am tired of — as they say in the sports world — fielding them. Besides, I am late to my next protest.
May I ask what that one is?
It’s called Occupy Riverwalk. Guy named John Williams got it started. Has something to do with a tax protest. Debbie is going to dress like an Indian and dump tea in the Chattahoochee. I’m bringing the sorghum syrup and pecans. This will be — as they say in the sports world — a home run.
I love this job.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.